Our approach to corporate responsibility (CR) focuses on the three dimensions of sustainability to create economic, environmental, and social value. It aims to set the direction for a future-orientated business strategy that balances economic success with environmental and social responsibility, all in line with the expectations of stakeholders. We seek to promote sustainable business, increase transparency and, ensure that our risk management processes help to avoid negative environmental and social impacts arising from our core businesses. In addition, we try to manage our business operations sustainably and embrace our responsibilities as a corporate citizen.
Maintaining best practice standards
Our understanding of responsibility is aligned with Deutsche Bank’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and reflected in our policies, guidelines, and processes. These help to ensure that consistent standards are applied in our own operations, business relationships, and citizenship initiatives.
It is further informed by formal commitments we make to internationally recognized standards and principles such as the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We also support industry initiatives and work with like-minded partners from public and private sectors, with the commitment of our highly skilled workforce.
The ultimate responsibility for CR lies with the Management Board, which delegates responsibility to the Global Head of Communications & CSR, reporting directly to the CEO. This role is supported by a centrally organized team that develops the bank’s approach to strengthen sustainability in its core business further. The bank’s corporate citizenship program is implemented by regional teams and its foundations. Individual business divisions and infrastructure are responsible for prioritizing their divisional implementation of the sustainability strategy, with goals, measures, and people-engagement activities.
Due to the broad scope of sustainability opportunities and risks, many units contribute to our sustainability approach, such as Human Resources, Corporate Governance, and businesses with, for example, specific sustainable products. Each area has its specific governance structure, including a reporting line to the Management Board to achieve its targets. Reflecting our desire to streamline the bank’s top management structures and governance, the former CR Management Committee (with Board-level representation) was dissolved at the beginning of 2016 and its remit transferred directly to the CEO and Management Board.
The Integrity Committee, a subcommittee of the Supervisory Board, addresses issues relating primarily to preventative monitoring and strategic analysis of legal and reputational risks, as well as corporate culture. In 2016, it began a review of the bank’s sustainability approach.